In this year’s sapphire event, Christian Klein, the current SAP CEO, used his first keynote to stress on the significance of resiliency and increased automation in various enterprises against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
In his keynote, Christian Klein, COO, CEO and member of the Executive Board at SAP, stressed out that companies ought to be agile and more resilient during this pandemic. The two words, “agile and resilient,” were given a lot of airtime throughout the event. As a result, the notion trickled down throughout the SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined keynotes and sessions.
As the world battles the highly contagious Covid-19 pandemic, SAP unveiled innovations to help customers adopt the “new normal.” The better part of the conference focused on innovative technologies that will help clients carry on through abnormalities and unplanned incidents, such as the currently joint black swan event. The rest of the conference majored on how these innovations and other SAP solutions assist clients in running a more resilient enterprise.
According to the words of Thomas Saueressig, a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE for SAP product engineering, “SAP’S intelligent enterprise promises to provide you with the required agility and resiliency needed to give you confidence in uncertain times.”
How SAPPHIRE NOW was reimagined for 2020.
This year, SAPPHIRE NOW couldn’t be physically held at Orlando, as is usually the norm. Instead, the conference was virtually held due to the social distancing measure taken globally to minimise the spread of the virus. SAP made Covid-19 a key talking point and explained to their customers that they understand the struggles and challenges they go through during such a crisis. In one of his sessions with a journalist, SAP CEO, Klein, stated how more than 90 percent of their employees currently work from home and how SAP is involved in ensuring that they do so in a risk-free environment that is also fully equipped for their given tasks.
Klein also made remarks on how SAP is aware of how critical the current economic pressures have imposed on the company’s solutions and as well the significance of their customers to businesses globally. He said that “As many industries are suffering, we see that some of our solutions are more relevant than others.” He added that “ When you talk about supply chain and e-commerce, the good thing is that, frequently, SAP software is at the center of these needs.”
A better part of the conference sessions and keynotes were inclined towards how the innovations platforms can help clients stay secure and resilient during this pandemic and beyond.
Widening SAP technology platform
Juergen Mueller, CTO of SAP and a member of the Executive Board, said that “The Business Technology Platform is SAP’s standard technology platform. It ensures that all applications are easy-to-use and perfectly integrated” in one of the sessions over the week of SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined.
The platform is a host to various SAP solutions and provides the backbone on which the company’s enterprise runs on. Adjustments include elements such as direct workflow to allow for easier and faster communication of essential data from SAP solutions and applications to other SAP and non-SAP solutions across the entire organisation. Besides, AI has also been embedded into the platform to allow customers to make transparent business decisions from their data packets. Other incredible innovations that were released include an updated version of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud for those customers in the retail industry, further integration of SAP cloud and SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 05.
“Most companies I have spoken with have expressed the need for agility and quick time to value, made even more urgent by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mueller. “To achieve both, technology becomes even more significant, and SAP can help meet those challenges. We have added significant enhancements to every major component of our Business Technology Platform to help customers across all industries overcome obstacles stemming from the ubiquity of data, complexity of IT, and business volatility.”
Industry-specific cloud for vertical differentiation
While emphasising on the significance of partners, Christian Klein explains how the industry cloud, powered the fourth industrial revolution by supporting the development of cloud-native applications for differentiating business capabilities. “We will partner with our ecosystem to gain broad coverage across all industries, because you know which industry’s best practices matter most to you. Business processes and steps have many dependencies,” he said. “Only SAP can bring together all this data of the many stakeholders in one business network, allowing you to manage all these dependencies in real-time.”
SAP targets at making companies become “intelligent enterprises.”
The idea of creating intelligent enterprises by SAP is nothing new. During this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW, the idea took a slightly different angle. The company’s top executive, Klein, outlined the importance of intelligent enterprises to SAP and as well the efforts being made by SAP to realise the dream.
In his keynotes, Luka Mucic drilled down what this means for people, and specifically the SAP employee fraternity. He said that “The intelligent enterprise has to equip people with the right processes, tools, and insights to deliver value to our customers. Especially in these times of crisis, we have a responsibility to sustain our colleagues’ work and to ensure that not only their physical health is fine, but their mental health as well.”
Mucic highlighted that people are the basis of a company’s journey to success and encouraged that they should, therefore, be empowered with resilient solutions. This can be achieved by creating an end-to-end business environment with the help of an intelligent enterprise where data and business processes are connected. According to Mucic, “Intelligent Enterprise helps us strike a balance between our own needs in terms of running a profitable business and helping our customers, where possible, by keeping up our sustainability.”
In an attempt to help organisations conduct their business sustainably, SAP launched a new program during the conference referred to as Climate 21. “We are convinced that sustainability represents a clear competitive advantage and a financial and economic benefit,” said Saueressig. This new solution introduced during the conference will help in the provision of embedded sustainability metrics across the portfolio. The aim is to achieve both environmental and financial advantages by assisting customers to reduce their carbon footprints. With SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics, companies can calculate their current stand in comparison with their competitors to understand and identify their product, which produces the most emissions. As per Saueressig, “Climate 21 is the embodiment of the Intelligent Enterprise because it spreads across the end-to-end business process throughout the entire portfolio.
Industry 4.Now by SAP
Industry 4.Now is about connecting processes and automation and manufacturing with enterprise data, as explained by Bernd Brandl, senior vice president and global head of DSC solution sales at SAP. “You can understand exactly what your customers need to optimise processes and upgrade supply chain planning.”
As part of closing remarks …
Klein closed his keynote with a fantastic call to act and a heartfelt pledge of SAP’s commitment to its customers.
He said that “We want to serve you with the best possible business outcomes to help you quickly adapt and get the most value from our solutions to ensure your long-term success. Together, we have embarked on the journey to become intelligent enterprises. We have come a long way already, making a significant contribution to growth while acting sustainably. Let’s show the world that when people and technology meet, great things happen.”